Modern laser vision correction surgery has accomplished a remarkably great level of safety and accuracy. LASIK surgery is rapid and comfortable, and visual recovery is quick. As a bladeless procedure, LASIK has delivered amazing results to millions of people around the world. Our Hudson Valley area patients appreciate the great results driven by our expertise with these highly advanced technologies. In the past, patients with similar glasses prescriptions received the same surgery.
If you are seeking Laser vision correction surgery in Hudson Valley, discover how to enhance your vision with Dr. Cheema! Dr. Cheema is a fellow of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery and the International Society of Refractive Surgery. He is also a member of the New York State Ophthalmological Society.
What is LASIK?
LASIK is the most popular form of laser vision correction. This laser vision correction procedure corrects myopia, hyperopia, and astigmatism. The surface of the cornea must be permanently reshaped to correct these vision problems. That’s where LASIK comes in.
During LASIK surgery, your surgeon uses a femtosecond laser to create a circular “flap” on the surface of the cornea. Once created, the flap is then pulled back to expose the inner layers of the cornea for treatment.
A second laser called an excimer laser removes microscopic amounts of corneal tissue to reshape the eye. Only the tiniest amount of tissue is removed from the cornea to achieve vision correction. Once the proper adjustments are made, the corneal flap is repositioned and left to heal on its own. No stitches are required after having LASIK surgery!
Why is LASIK a Bladeless Procedure?
Before LASIK was a bladeless procedure, it was performed using an instrument called a microkeratome. In traditional LASIK, the microkeratome cut the flap and reshaped the cornea.
With LASIK now, using a femtosecond laser and an excimer laser to create the flap and reshape the cornea makes it much more precise. This method of LASIK, known as Femtosecond LASIK, applies concentrated light energy to an exact depth within the cornea. Dr. Cheema then creates a layer of gas bubbles which creates the smooth and uniform flap and folds back the flap to reshape the cornea with the excimer laser.
It also lends itself to more reliable, exact results thanks to a smoother, more regular flap. That translates to a quicker and more efficient healing time for patients.
Dr. Cheema and his highly experienced team of eye care specialists perform Femtosecond LASIK.
SMILE stands for Small Incision Lenticule Extraction. SMILE is a laser procedure used to correct a patient’s vision. It’s similar to procedures like LASIK or PRK, but it has some key differences. Unlike LASIK or PRK, SMILE is minimally invasive and only requires a small incision in the eye. How is this possible?
The surgeon uses a femtosecond laser to remove a small, disc-shaped piece of corneal tissue. This is called a lenticule. Then a small incision is made to pull out the lenticule. This allows the surgeon to reshape the cornea to correct refractive errors. There’s no penetration with the surface of the eye, allowing for the most minimal amount of tissue damage possible.
How Is SMILE Different From Other Vision Correction Procedures?
LASIK involves creating a corneal flap. The corneal flap is then lifted so the surgeon can reshape the cornea underneath the flap. The flap is then replaced to act as a natural bandage that fuses back onto the rest of the cornea. But the flap takes time to finish healing.
It’s a similar case with PRK. There’s no flap created during PRK, but the surgeon needs to remove the epithelial layer. This is what protects the cornea. The epithelium takes over a week to regenerate. During that time, the eye is vulnerable and needs to be protected by a contact lens. But with SMILE, tissue is removed to reshape the eye without having to make a flap or remove the epithelium. The small incision needed to remove the lenticule heals in a matter of days.
Why Should You Choose SMILE?
The benefits of SMILE are numerous, including a shorter recovery time. SMILE is also more comfortable than other laser eye procedures. SMILE has comparable results to other corrective procedures like LASIK and carries a much lower risk of dry eye. Not only that, but there’s a lower risk of needing a second procedure years later. Some patients need a “touch-up” LASIK procedure after their first because of prescription changes.
This happens less frequently with SMILE. Experts believe this could be because SMILE patients experience less dehydration after surgery. This means that their eyes are less likely to change shape as they recover. SMILE is a good choice for a minimally invasive vision correction procedure. Like any surgical procedure, it’s not right for everyone.
What Are The Limits Of SMILE?
While SMILE can be an effective procedure for many patients, the surgery has its limits. In some ways, it has more limits than LASIK or PRK. SMILE can only correct myopia (nearsightedness). It cannot correct hyperopia (farsightedness), as LASIK and PRK can. Very recently, some versions of SMILE have been approved to correct small amounts of astigmatism. This is in addition to myopia, but the degree of how much it can correct is still limited.
If you’re nearsighted, SMILE can be a great option if you want to be able to see without glasses or contacts. If you’re looking for a reliable ophthalmology practice in the Hudson Valley that performs SMILE surgery, try Cheema Eye. Our surgeons are experienced when it comes to many kinds of eye surgery, including SMILE. Contact Cheema Eye in Kingston, NY to schedule a consultation and see if SMILE is right for you!
PRK stands for photorefractive keratectomy. PRK is a laser vision correction surgery very much like LASIK. There are some differences, but PRK came before LASIK. In fact, PRK was the first kind of laser vision correction surgery made commercially available.
How Does PRK Work?
PRK corrects refractive errors. These include myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness), and astigmatism. Refractive errors occur because of having an irregularly shaped cornea. Like LASIK, PRK involves correcting refractive errors by reshaping the cornea. By reshaping the cornea, it changes how light refracts or bends, through it. This is what permanently corrects refractive errors.
How Is PRK Different From LASIK?
The basic idea of PRK isn’t all that different from LASIK. Both procedures use an excimer laser to reshape the cornea. From here, however, is where PRK is much different than LASIK. PRK accesses the cornea in an alternative way. The cornea is the front part of your eye, but it’s protected by a thin layer of cells called the epithelium. During PRK, the epithelium layer is removed.
After surgery, the epithelium regenerates. This can take several weeks to regenerate and heal. As a result, PRK has a longer recovery period than LASIK does. With LASIK, instead of removing the epithelium, a flap is made in the cornea. Then, the rest of the cornea is shaped underneath the flap. The flap is then replaced to act as a natural bandage while the eye heals.
Why Should I Have PRK?
Although LASIK is a newer procedure than PRK, that doesn’t mean it’s the best choice for everyone. PRK is a great option for patients who may not qualify for LASIK.
If you have a history of dry eye, for example, or are an active person, PRK may be a better option. PRK tends to exacerbate dry eye less than LASIK.
Active patients risk dislocating their corneal flap after LASIK. This is especially likely if they take part in sports. There’s no flap created during PRK, so flap dislocation isn’t an issue.
To get PRK, patients also don’t need to have thicker corneas. This is a key component of LASIK candidacy. To be a good LASIK candidate, you must have thick enough corneas. This is to ensure there’s enough tissue to create the flap and enough tissue to remove.
A small amount of corneal tissue needs to be removed to correct refractive errors during LASIK. PRK only requires removing the epithelium and corneal tissue to correct your vision. This means your cornea doesn’t need to be as thick. If you can’t have LASIK because your corneas aren’t thick enough, PRK is another option to consider.
Is PRK Safe To Undergo?
PRK is a low-risk procedure. LASIK is a low-risk procedure as well, but one of the risks it has is potential corneal flap dislocation. Patients who undergo PRK don’t need to worry about this. With PRK, there is a longer initial recovery time than LASIK, because there is no corneal flap created. The eye is more vulnerable without its protective outer layer, but it does regenerate on its own after several weeks.
If you care for your eyes after PRK, there are very low odds you’ll experience any complications. Of course, any surgical procedure carries some risk, no matter how low. Be sure to communicate with your doctor before having PRK to discuss these risks and ways to lower your own risk. Make sure to also ask any questions you may have about the procedure.
How Effective Is PRK When Compared To LASIK?
Outcomes for LASIK and PRK patients are about the same. The majority of PRK patients experience vastly improved vision after surgery. They can easily see without needing glasses or contacts. While the recovery period for PRK patients is longer, the end results are just as good as LASIK patients.
Don’t qualify for LASIK? Looking for somewhere reliable to get PRK surgery? For the best eye care in the Kingston area, be it for PRK or laser vision correction, come to Cheema Eye. Schedule your consultation today!